Being away from family around Thanksgiving was really hard for me. I didn't realize how sentimental I was towards Thanksgiving, until I found myself holding back tears every time I gave my Thanksgiving lecture in class. I had a slideshow of pictures that depicted a traditional Thanksgiving at my parents house. My students loved seeing the picture of my families home, and all our different foods.
I had originally planned on making a big Thanksgiving meal to eat as a family, but at this point in time, I had only had discouraging cooking outcomes, and didn't want a reason to feel more disappointed on Thanksgiving. This is why we chose to eat at a nice hotel restaurant in town. They had advertised a Thanksgiving dinner, and the thought of not having to clean or prep or cook sounded great, especially since in China, Thanksgiving is just another Thursday, so we had classes to teach that day.
Our Thanksgiving meal, was A beautiful Turkey, delicious baked potatoes, and LOTS of Chinese food. So, it wasn't much of a Thanksgiving meal, but they did have apple pie, thats America, right? Either way, we were happy to be out at a nice place and enjoy all the options. Drew was a big fan of the sushi, while I stayed close to the chocolate fountain. In honor of Thanksgiving, the hotel had some games planned and asked Drew to participate, because he was 1 of the 5 Americans there ( Ellie, Grant, and I making up 3 more of those 5). Drew had to roll a pumpkin down a lane of tape using spoons, without going outside the lines. He got 2nd place, and won a nice bottle of wine, that we ended up giving away (since we don't drink) to a good samaritan who fixed our bike breaks for free!
TANGENT: The man who fixed out bike, was a mechanic who clearly had much less than we do. Given our "western appearance", and lack of Chinese, he could have easily ripped us off, but because it was such a quick fix, he refused money. It made me think about myself and how freely (or not) I'm willing to give. Sometimes I feel like I only need to help the monetarily less fortunate, but in this case, I'm sure this man assumed we had money. That didn't stop him from seeing a need he could fulfill, and being generous. It was a beautiful life lesson for me. One I will always be THANKFUL for (and that's me trying to tell a story but still wrap up this post with its intended content).